Witnessing the collapse of another U.K. government is so lackluster in 2022 that it teeters on being banal if it weren’t one of the top five global economies today. Following the resignation of the three previous U.K. Prime Ministers, the premature finality of Boris Johnson’s term must have a least brought a smile to the faces of Gordon Brown, David Cameron, and Theresa May for keeping up the tradition, and a giant grin to the face of Tony Blair, the last Prime Minister to actually be voted out of office in 1997, at the end of his second term. Fun fact, Tony Blair was also the only Prime Minister to serve two full terms in office since Margaret Thatcher, who also resigned from the position in the middle of her third term. What this means is that there are currently citizens in the U.K., who are of voting age, that have never witnessed a Prime Minister be voted out of office and probably now think resignation is the norm.
In the wake of Boris’ resignation, however, and really since other members of his Cabinet began their mass exodus of his administration, there are correlations to be made between the British government and our own regarding the referendum process, and whether such a thing could occur with the PNM government. While the accusations and evidence pointed against the Conservative party and its members have been damning, resulting in the numerous resignations up to the Prime Minister, there are those who believe that these scandals pale in comparison to those which linger over the head of Dr. Keith Rowley and his administration.
Of course, Dr. Keith Rowley is no stranger to dissension within a government, as he was famously dismissed from his Ministerial portfolio by former Prime Minister Patrick Manning when he raised concerns regarding the procurement processes involving UDECOTT and its former Chairman, Calder Hart, both inside and outside of the Parliament chamber. It was this platform that would later elevate the unlikely politician to the position of Political Leader of the PNM for having the foresight to identify the very problems that would course Mr. Manning to lose the 2010 general election. That said, the promotion to Opposition Leader, and subsequently Prime Minister, appears to have resonated with Dr. Rowley, who appears to have hired and structured his Cabinet in a manner to prevent the same fate from befalling himself. Such is the reason that he is as confident as he is that none of his numerous and disastrous missteps will cost him the throne on which he now sits.
Probably the last vestige of hope for such a referendum or vote of no confidence in Dr. Keith Rowley came to an end in 2020, when Robert Le Hunte tendered his resignation as a Senator, Cabinet Minister, and Vice Chairman of the PNM in one fell swoop as a result of “professional conflict on policy positions.” Mr. Le Hunte was repatriated back to this country, forced to not only give up a lucrative position as Managing Director of HFC Bank in Ghana but also was forced to revoke his citizenship of that country based on Parliamentary stipulations. That said, his knowledge and expertise made him by default one of, if not the most competent Cabinet members in the PNM administration, and his resignation a mere three years into office is a testament to that fact. That said, the fact that not only did his departure not impact the Keith Rowley government in the slightest, apart from the obvious degeneration, is made even more bleak when you realize that the current lineup remains blindly subservient to their leader.
Unlike the situation in the U.K., where the Conservative Party has a bench of three hundred and fifty-eight members from which to select a leader, the fact the current PNM bench is only twenty-two seats deep is only worsened when you consider its composition. Suggesting that the current government overthrow Dr. Keith Rowley from the position of Prime Minister sounds like a great idea in theory until you wonder who could possibly replace him in the current slate. Of course, there is always the possibility that such a coup might trigger a general election, which historically has never favored a government seeking reelection in this country, which is the outcome a great many may prefer. But such a thing requires any or all of the PNM administration to grow a conscience, which at this point is as likely as whoever replaces Boris Johnson lasting two full terms.
Ravi Balgobin Maharaj